It's the Lord's Day! Not that we have a day off from the work of the Chapter, however.... In fact, while most of our communities enjoy a bit of extra rest, our community Mass here was the same as always, 7:15. This time, however, something was a bit different.
It started with the sound effects. Outside, a strong blowing wind hinted of a new Pentecost (I'm certainly praying for a similar outcome!); the rumble of thunder started. (I began to be distracted by thoughts of my computer, plugged into the outlet without a surge protector and downloading an enormous file.) Rain. More thunder, to the point that it was drowning out the voice of the priest, microphone or no microphone. When it came time for the Offertory, the real drama started. All the lights in the main part of the chapel went out. Only the sanctuary remained dimly lit. The priest calmly raised the bread. I zipped out of my pew and ran to unplug the computer (I was not the only one!) while the sister-sacristan lit a few extra candles so Father could see the prayers in the altar missal. Really, it was quite striking. But it wasn't over.
The "Holy, Holy, Holy" was punctuated with the return of the lights, row by row. "Holy, Holy, Holy!" "Plink!" went the first row of fluorescent lights. "Heaven and earth are full of your glory!" "Plink, Plink!" Two more rows. "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!" "Plink!" "Hosanna in the Highest!" "Plink!"
As the Eucharistic Prayer continued, the roar outside grew stronger, and the sound of the rain hitting the ground two stories beneath us became more marked. That this wasn't just rain became obvious when a hailstone the size of a marble ricocheted off the shoulder of the General Counselor two pews ahead of me. Although only a few of the chapel windows open, and even barely (they open at a 40° angle facing downward), hail was popping all over the place. By the time for the Sign of Peace, we could only exchange chuckles.
Now the day has calmed down considerably (and so have we, after getting a major report about our international finances!). When we meet again this afternoon, may the Spirit of Pentecost guide us according to God's vision for our communities and mission. There are bishops all over the world asking us to come to their diocese, to their country... whole new language groups that we have yet to serve. What should be the next good step?